«The pandemic prevented me from bringing a play to Argentina»

At the head of his own company “Escánico 700 pesetas”, Javier Cerrato Romero (La Zarza, 1987) is dedicated to the management and distribution of performing arts, as well as photography and graphic design. This young man from Zarca tries to make his way in the difficult world of theater production

He studied Image and Design Laboratory and trained, through various workshops, in Photography, as well as Production and Cultural Management. In love with the La Vera region, he likes traveling, folklore and live music. Without forgetting the walks with his dog, Gala.

How and when did you decide to become a theater producer?

I have had my passion for art and culture inside me since I was very little. At the age of seven I was able to buy my first camera. It cost me 700 pesetas, hence my stage name. I remember in my childhood creating decorations at home and stories to tell and not with words, but creatively.

A play, a concert or any other show always caught my attention, to see life from another perspective. Since 2018 I have been a professional company in the field of performing arts, photography and graphic design. I consider myself a cultural worker.

What works have you produced or have you participated in any way in their production?

I have participated directly or indirectly in numerous theater productions. I have taken the photographs and the image in “El Amor de Mi Ahora”, by Almor Movimiento; I have been a production assistant in the play «La Distancia», from the company ‘Las 4 Esquinas’, I have designed the logo of the company «El Teatro de las Bestias», I have participated in the Ceres Workshops organized by the Classical Theater Festival from Mérida, I have been a distributor of “La Barraca de Federico García Lorca”, both nationally and internationally, taking the work to France and Italy.

The highest caliber work that I have been able to produce is “El Caballero de Olmedo”, a co-production with the National Classical Theater Festival of Cáceres in which dance, live music and theater were fused, directed by Pedro Luis López Bellot.

Which has been the most successful so far?

The one that has had the longest run has been “La Barraca de Federico García Lorca”, although the one we premiered last November about the same author, “Federico, nos vols Lorca” is having a good reception. It is a work where flamenco, live music and theater are mixed. At the moment we have not been lucky enough to represent it in Extremadura, but we have in Madrid and Toledo.

What work are you currently immersed in?

We recently released “Querido Darío”. It is a story based on real events about a young man from Extremadura and his experience in a place where his freedom is deprived, leading him to stop being himself so that his life is not in danger. The boy is convicted of a crime that he did not commit and this situation makes him write a diary as a tool to vent. His sexual condition in prison is not well regarded and he is recommended to behave like a heterosexual person.

The production aims to use social theater as a tool to change the world and fight for the rights of LGTBIQ+ people.

How do you select the works you produce?

The works that I select to produce are related to the social, political or economic situation. Through them I try to convey to the public a reflection, a message: if there is no culture, there is no freedom.

What is the biggest challenge a theater producer faces?

The main one is to put an economic limit on production. Developing a project involves quite high costs, and we rarely receive public aid. In my case, only in “The Knight of Olmedo.”

Another challenge is knowing how to manage the personnel you have for the project, so having a good one is essential.

What advice would you give to someone interested in following in your footsteps?

First of all, be very clear about it and know that it is a way of life. Ours is a sector where work and sacrifice go hand in hand. It is a long-distance race so you have to be trained, prepared for difficult moments.

I have the full support of my family. My father has built me ​​the latest sets, my mother has put up with my emotional changes, my brothers listen to every idea…

How did the pandemic affect the world of theater?

The pandemic affected us enormously, since many efforts carried out for months went to waste, among them the possibility of “crossing the pond”, since I was about to take one of the works to Argentina.

What are your future plans?

I hope and wish that my future plans will be like those of the past, dedicate myself to what makes me happy and develop as a person, grow, grow by creating. May ‘Scenic 700 pesetas’ have a long life and leave many reflections in the air for whoever needs them.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is to extract emotions, stir the audience in the seats, make the viewer think about what they have seen and felt and draw conclusions to build a better world.

And the least good?

The fact that your project is not well received and it is difficult to recover the financial investment made.

Regarding your other artistic facet, photography, what situation is it in?

Photography is the artistic discipline that I have had in me since I was very little. Currently, I consider that she is being mistreated. Before, a camera was a luxury item, now we carry it with our mobile phone. But having a camera does not make you a photographer, it makes you a camera owner.

I have participated in several group exhibitions with artists from Extremadura and I have held other individual exhibitions both in Extremadura and Madrid. I currently teach two photography courses in La Garrovilla and Guareña.

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